Do you think you know the ins and outs of gambling and the industry as a whole? Even if you’re a Vegas regular, the odds are there are a lot of tricks, surprises and history about your favorite games that you don’t even realize exist.
Take a look at these 6 interesting facts you probably don’t know about the gambling industry.
Gambling was once illegal.
Nevada used to have a back and forth relationship with the activity that now makes it a top tourist destination. It was legalized in 1869, however, lawmakers gave into lobbying from reformers many years later and the activity was banned in 1910. In 1931, state legislature passed a new gambling bill allowing the activity to take place in the state.
Gambling rescued a Fortune 500 company.
In 1973, just two years after FedEx was launched, the company was short on money and facing bankruptcy. The founder and CEO of Fed Ex, Fred Smith, took the company’s last $5,000 to Sin City in hopes to raise some money for capital. Smith did well at the tables and earned $27,000 playing blackjack. He was able to secure funding shortly after the company has experienced great success and prosperity from that point forward.
Over 70% of gambling profits come from online slots.
Playing Internet slot machines is about as close as one can come to duplicating a traditional casino experience. The technology works the same – even slots in a traditional casino that appear to be mechanical slots are usually computer powered. If you can’t make it to a traditional casino to try to win big, think about playing online slots and just may get lucky. Another positive of playing online games is that you don’t have to try to keep a poker face.
The first casino license in Las Vegas was issued to a female.
One of many fun facts about gambling is that the first legal casino license in Nevada was issued to a woman named Mayme Stocker in 1920. She was a respected mother and wife who was regularly featured in the local newspaper. The casino was opened in her name because her husband initially didn’t want to be associated with it. The casino, Northern Club, offered the only five legal games in Las Vegas at the time: lowball poker, stud poker, draw power, 500 and bridge.
The Nevada State prison used to have a casino for its inmates.
Nevada’s gambling industry is so huge that even the state prison in Carson City had a casino for inmates for 35 years. Inmates were able to play craps, blackjack and poker and were permitted to bet on sports on the prison’s grounds from 1932 to 1967. That year, the new warden decided the casino shouldn’t be available to inmates and shut it down.
America’s first interracial casino opened in 1955.
Much of the United States was a racist place in the 1950s, and Las Vegas was no exception – Sammy Davis Jr., a legendary black singer, didn’t follow the rules and swam in a pool, so hotel management drained it. He’s not the only black person who experience racial discrimination.
So when the Moulin Rouge casino and hotel opened in May of 1955 as an interracial casino, it was a historical occasion. Dancers from the Rouge landed on the cover of Life magazine. However., the white owners shut the hotel down after four months of operation, but those four months were both profitable and peaceful.
There’s a lot more to the gambling industry that meets the eye and these crazy facts only scratch the surface of what all there is to know. What were you surprised to read in this list?